Premier League Preview | 2019/20 Season Guide
Premier League 2019/20 Season Preview – Can Anyone Stop Manchester City?
We are now just days away from the start of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign and excitement is reaching a fever pitch among fans. It is by far and away the world’s most popular league due to the unrivalled blend of breathtaking action, drama and intrigue it serves up on a weekly basis. The overall level of quality continues to improve, ambitious teams are investing heavily in their squads and upsets are commonplace.
It is a glorious time of year, as most fans are filled with hope and optimism as they look forward to the new campaign. Several teams have been busy during the summer transfer window and it will be interesting to see how a number of new superstars fare in English football. We should be in for a series of gripping battles at both ends of the table this season, and Premier League fans can choose from a number of long-term Premier League betting markets that boost the excitement when watching the season unfold.
Premier League Title: Will Liverpool run City Close Once More?
Last season saw Man City and Liverpool engage in a thrilling battle for the Premier League title. Pep Guardiola’s men went into the campaign as champions after securing a record-breaking haul of 100 points and generally dazzling with their brilliance in 2017/18. Yet Liverpool had just been to the Champions League final, they boasted a phenomenal attacking forward line and they spent big in order to close the gap on Man City.
Out went Loris Karius and in came Brazil number one Alisson to replace him, while Jurgen Klopp bolstered his midfield with the signings of Naby Keita and Fabinho. Virgil Van Dijk simply continued to grow in stature at the back, while marauding full-backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold came of age, and suddenly Liverpool were genuine title contenders again.
For much of the season, it looked like they would finish above Man City to secure their first ever Premier League title. They remained unbeaten on New Year’s Day and they enjoyed a seven-point lead over Guardiola’s side. They could have extended their advantage to 10 points with a win at The Etihad on January 3, but Man City battled to a 2-1 victory and closed the gap. Liverpool found themselves seven points clear once more at the start of February after City lost 2-1 at St James’s Park, but then Guardiola’s men won 14 games in a row to seize the title by a whisker.
It went down to the final day and Liverpool sauntered to a 2-0 win over Wolves to reach 97 points, but Man City beat Brighton 4-1 to finish on 98 and become the first back-to-back Premier League title winners in a decade. Now they are aiming for three in a row, and once again Liverpool look best placed to stop them. The Reds secured more Premier League points than Arsenal, Chelsea or Man Utd have ever managed last season, and they went on to win the Champions League, so they are in great shape ahead of the new campaign.
Liverpool have not spent much on their squad this summer, but their key players are the right side of 30 and they all have the speed and energy to follow Klopp’s intense Gegenpressing style. They boast a great deal of quality in every department and they look really settled.
Man City bid farewell to captain Vincent Kompany over the summer, while Fernandinho and David Silva are on their last legs, so an era is ending at the club. Yet they remain the favourites to win the Premier League title this season due to the sheer depth of quality they possess. Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero are among the world’s greatest players, and Guardiola is a masterful coach.
They have signed Rodri to improve their midfield options and they could yet snap up a centre-back before the transfer window slams shut. They secured 100 points in 2017/18 and 98 points last term, the two highest tallies in Premier League history, and Guardiola’s relentless drive for success will ensure they remain extremely competitive once more this season.
Man City and Liverpool finished well clear of their rivals last season, and there is little to suggest that the rest of the so-called Big Six will significantly close the gap in 2019/20. Chelsea have been hit with a transfer ban, Spurs are becoming perennial nearly men, while Arsenal and Man Utd are firmly in transition mode. It could well develop into another two-horse race between City and Liverpool. They played out a pulsating 1-1 draw in the Community Shield on Sunday, before Man City prevailed on penalties, and it could be similarly tight over the course of the season.
If Man City win a third straight title this season, they will have a legitimate claim to be the greatest team in Premier League history. If you fancy Man City to secure another title, you can take advantage of a great offer from Sporting Index. Back Man City for the title and we'll pay you out if they're top by the end of matchweek 4 (02 September). You will not have to wait until the end of the season to take home your potential winnings, and you will not have to worry about Guardiola’s men being overhauled in the subsequent 34 rounds of fixtures, making it a very attractive offer.
Premier League Top Four Battle
It looks as though Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd could find themselves battling for the remaining two Champions League places. The Blues finished third last season, but they may well go backwards in 2019/20. Last season, Belgian forward Eden Hazard provided more combined goals and assists than any other Premier League player, and he will be a huge miss after Chelsea reluctantly sold him to Real Madrid. They have been slapped with a two-window transfer ban for fielding unregistered youth team players, and that has left them unable to bring in a replacement.
They signed Christian Pulisic before the ban was made, and he has now joined, while Matteo Kovacic’s loan was made permanent, but otherwise it has been a very quiet summer at Stamford Bridge. Frank Lampard has replaced the outgoing Maurizio Sarri as manager, and he is a popular choice among fans. He will have to place his faith in youth this season, and the likes of Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham should get plenty of minutes on the pitch. Yet they will need several players to step up and deliver in the final third of the pitch if they are to fill the gaping hole left by Hazard’s departure.
Spurs were fourth last season, and they will feel confident in their ability to finish at least third this time around. Money-cautious chairman Daniel Levy has finally started spending again after two transfer windows of total inactivity, and Spurs broke their club record to sign Tanguy Nbombele from Lyon. He will fill the gap left in their midfield when Mousa Dembele left last season. Tottenham fans should be even more encouraged by the lack of key departures so far.
Iconic manager Mauricio Pochettino does not seem happy, and his recent comments to the press have been pretty scathing, but he remains in the hot seat. No clubs have activated Toby Alderweireld’s release clause, while Christian Eriksen remains a Spurs player for the time being.
Going forward, Tottenham should be magnificent once again. Harry Kane, Son Heung-Min and Dele Alli are quality players, and they just need a bit more in the way back-up. Kieran Trippier has left, and Danny Rose could follow him out of the door, so they may need to sign full-backs before the transfer window ends, but Pochettino retains the nucleus of a strong team. Our traders currently have Tottenham finishing third in the Premier League Points Index.
Arsenal have arguably been the most entertaining team to follow in the summer transfer window. They desperately need defensive reinforcements after leaking goals last season, but instead went out and spent a club record £72 million on exciting winger Nicolas Pepe. Meanwhile, Laurent Koscielny is on strike as he tries to engineer a move away from the club, Shkodran Mustafi is booed by his own fans and the Gunners’ defensive line looks pretty weak at the moment. They may yet bring in reinforcements, but time is ticking before the window slams shut at 5pm on Thursday 8th August.
They should be extremely dangerous going forward, with Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil in full flow. But at the back they look vulnerable. Earlier this summer, our traders had Arsenal finishing fourth, ahead of Man Utd and Chelsea, but now they put the Red Devils ahead of Unai Emery’s men. That could have something to do with Man Utd capturing Harry Maguire in an £80 million deal, which should make them more solid at the back.
Paul Pogba has also been unable to force a move away from Old Trafford, while Paulo Dybala could join in place of the ineffective Romelu Lukaku, so Man Utd fans could be feeling reasonably optimistic right now. Yet last season was a real rollercoaster ride for the United faithful, so they will need to generate a big improvement this time around. They enjoyed an initial boost after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho in the dugout, but results petered out towards the end of the season. They need to become more solid at the back and stronger in midfield if they are to finish ahead of Arsenal, Chelsea and perhaps Spurs this season.
The Race for Seventh Place
The Big Six have pulled away from the rest of the league due to their financial clout in recent years. That typically leaves the others fighting it out for seventh place and the chance to play in the Europa League the following season. Newly promoted Wolves seized seventh last season, and they will be keen to hold onto that spot, while also bidding to overhaul Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd. They have bolstered their squad with Lazio duo Pedro Neto and Bruno Jordao this summer, while Flavio Cristovao also joined in a free transfer. That takes their Portuguese contingent up to nine players, and promising youngster Italian Patrick Cutrone also joined from AC Milan.
Yet Wolves face stern competition for seventh. Our Premier League Points Index has Leicester and Everton both finishing ahead of Nuno Espirito Santo’s men this time around. Leicester looked rejuvenated after luring Brendan Rodgers from Celtic last season, and they have since spent £40 million to make Youri Tielemans’ loan move permanent. Ayoze Perez, a £30 million arrival from Newcastle, will add more depth to a forward line that has been overly reliant on Jamie Vardy of late. Yet the loss of Maguire will be a big blow, and the Foxes need to act quickly to replace him.
Everton remain ambitious under Farhad Moshiri, and they have conducted some impressive transfer business this summer. Idrissa Gueye left for PSG, but Jean-Philippe Gbamin looks like a solid replacement, while Fabian Delph will also add bite in midfield and leadership in the dressing room. They did well to make André Gomes a permanent signing, and Moise Kean has the pace and dynamism to light up the Premier League.
Elsewhere, West Ham must fancy a crack at seventh place. Pablo Fornals looks like a quality addition in the middle of the park, where he should slot in nicely alongside Declan Rice, while Sebastien Haller’s arrival negates the disappointment of losing Marko Arnautovic. Watford were also challenging for seventh last season, and their impressive campaign also saw the Hornets reach the FA Cup final, but their fans will hope for more activity in the transfer market before the window closes.
Who Will Go Down?
Last season saw two newly promoted clubs – Fulham and Cardiff – drop straight back down to the Championship, along with Huddersfield.
Norwich, Sheff Utd and Aston Villa have replaced them in the top flight, and all three could find themselves in the thick of the relegation battle in 2019/20. Aston Villa have spent a fortune this summer, but so did Fulham last year, and they struggled all season. Our Premier League relegation odds make Sheff Utd the favourites to go down, followed by Norwich, and those two teams have not really invested in much proven Premier League quality this summer.
Yet they are both solid teams and they could enjoy a strong start to the campaign if they maintain the momentum they built up last term. Brighton, Newcastle, Burnley and Aston Villa are all priced at 2/1 to go down in our Premier League relegation odds, highlighting just how tight it could be next season.
The Magpies look vulnerable after losing manager Rafa Benitez in the summer. He kept them up through tactical wizardry for the last couple of seasons, but new manager Steve Bruce is not quite so renowned in that department. They have also lost their main goal threat in Perez, while Salomon Rondon is not returning for another spell. They broke their club record to sign Joelinton, but Newcastle have twice suffered relegation during Mike Ashley’s tenure and their fans are worried right now.
Bournemouth have typically been able to secure a mid-table finish under Eddie Howe and they are not among the favourites to go down. Our traders also expect Crystal Palace and Southampton to be comfortable in 2019/20, leaving Burnley, Brighton and Newcastle to scrap it out with the newly promoted teams.
Brighton sacked long-standing manager Chris Hughton and replaced him with Swansea boss Graham Potter, which is a gamble. They have made some interesting forays into the transfer market this summer, bringing in Leandro Trossard and Adam Webster, but fans will be desperate to keep hold of Lewis Dunk. Burnley have signed Jay Rodriguez and Erik Pieters and they look pretty strong, but the Premier League is a cutthroat division and any sign of weakness will be ruthlessly punished, so we should be in for an intriguing relegation battle.
Who will claim the Premier League Golden Boot?
Many of the world’s finest strikers ply their trade in the Premier League and the race to win the Golden Boot is always captivating. Last season, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shared the honour. All three should be in the mix once more this time around, but Kane will be keen to regain his status as the division’s deadliest marksman. He won the Golden Boot in 2016 and 2017, but he suffered a couple of injuries last season and fell out of contention. If Aguero can stay fit throughout the campaign, he could easily walk off with the award, but that is a big if.
Sterling will also enjoy plenty of chances at Man City and he could fight his way into contention. Jamie Vardy, Alexandre Lacazette and Roberto Firmino might also fancy their chances of finishing top of the goalscorers chart. There remains the possibility of Marcus Rashford enjoying a real breakout year under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with Lukaku’s likely departure cementing his status as the number one striker at Old Trafford. Interesting long shots include Callum Wilson and Raul Jimenez, and the Premier League Top Goalscorer market looks set to add another layer of intrigue to what promises to be a fascinating season.